Outcry of a Street Child

If I could find justice, then I would scream at the top of my voice. Speak I can, converse I do, give speeches, I have…yet still I am unable to scream for help. I long for a helping hand, I crave justice, and my heart pleads for mercy… but scream? I cannot. If I could, I would, but since I can’t, then I won’t. Pen in hand, paper underneath, let these words scream for me.

Street Child
I am the boy treading this country, scuffling rubbish pits for leftovers and valuables as it were. I am the young girl with glue in my mouth, unkempt hair, rugged clothes and a baby on my back- and three others in the gutter, dead. Two were aborted, the other died shortly after birth – my world is no place for a weakling. I will keep the one on my back alive. When she is older, she will help provide for our street family.

I am the young man in the shadows, dirty dirt in my hand, terrorizing ‘normal’ people to give me money or I smear ‘it’ on them. No one is exempt. I’ve been to jail a million times, if my life keeps unfolding so miserably, I just might kill someone, plead guilty and spend the rest of my life behind bars. At least I will have clean food three times a day, clean clothes, a warm bed and regular rides in a really nice bus. Anything but this.

There she goes, swinging her hips with shopping in her hand. ‘She probably has change in her pocket, or a banana in her paper bag. Her eyes are kind’, I tell myself, ‘she’ll probably help if I ask’ But no, she won’t. She screams at me to leave her alone and a few sympathizers are ready to beat me up if I will not make myself scarce. On a good day, I get ten shillings. I can only buy glue- ten shillings will not buy me anything filling- so I’d rather get high, drown my sorrows and fantasize. It makes me forget, about the cold, the despair, the pains from the past, the hopelessness in the future.

I love the church, temple and mosque. At least they feed us three days in every three sixty five. They dress our wounds, give us nice clothes and take tens out of our thousands for sponsorship. I hope they take me next year. Or the next. I wish I wasn’t here, but I am. I wish I wasn’t as bad, but I am. I wish people hadn’t written me off, I wish I had a better chance at life, I wish there was a way out of this, I wish…I wish.

I am every child in every town with no place to sleep, no parents watching over me, no peace, no rest. But I look happy, you say. No, I have learnt, in whatever state I am in, therewith to be content. My being still cries out. For a whole lot, but first, that my outcry would reach your heart.

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Njambi is a young and vibrant urban soul. Great poet and scriptwriter. She authors the blog callmealien.wordpress.com